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The Rise of the Soviet Navy

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The Rise of the Soviet Navy


Published 1968


Made by the U.S. Navy at the height of the Cold War, this informative film chronicles the history of the Soviet Navy from the Czarist era through WWI, the Revolution, WWII, and the Cold War. The film begins with shots of the helicopter aircraft carrier Moscow / Moskva on its maiden voyage in the Mediterranean Sea in 1968.



The Kashin class guided-missile destroyers, the world's first major ships built with gas turbine propulsion, are also shown along with Soviet nuclear submarines. These sophisticated warships are seen to epitomize the Soviet naval threat to the West. The story of the Soviet Navy is a complicated one, and the film presents it using fascinating archival footage, some of it clearly pulled from the movies of Sergei Eisenstein. The Russian Imperial Navy that existed under Czar Nicholas II is shown, consisting of dreadnoughts, battleships and submarines. The royal yacht is seen briefly, with Princess Anastasia. Almost this entire fleet would be destroyed by the end of the Revolution, and Anasatasia and Nicholas II's family would be murdered.



Aleksandr Kolchak, who led the White Russian navy during the period of the Civil War, is shown prior to his defeat and execution. Under Lenin, the navy would be only partially rebuilt, as suspicions existed as to the loyalty of the officer corps. This, despite the fact that the crew of the cruiser Aurora were among the first to join the call to arms. Under Stalin, the Soviet Navy would rebound, and a new canal was built between Leningrad and Murmansk that allowed unfettered access to the White Sea for the first time. The fleet would play only a small role during WWII however, as most of it remained bottled up by German forces.



After the war, Kruschev began new building programs , and the Soviets quickly expanded their fleet into the current, world-ranging model. Shown in the film are nuclear submarines, submarines capable of firing nuclear ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, ice breakers, guided missile cruisers and destroyers, and


Run time 28 minutes 51 seconds
Producer U.S. Navy
Audio/Visual sound, color
Language English

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